Of the roughly 18,000 police departments across the United States, I confidently can tell you the Woodstock Police Department is among the very best. Our officers, under the leadership of our new chief, Robert Jones, and his predecessor, Calvin Moss, consistently serve our citizens well by centering their work around the department’s four core values: professionalism, integrity, service and teamwork.
The city of Woodstock grew by 11,169 between 2010-20, roughly a 47% increase in population. One would assume with that kind of growth, at least a moderate uptick in crime would be natural, especially when taking into account the crime rate increases throughout the metro Atlanta area. The exact opposite occurred in our city, with a 44% reduction in crime evidenced over the past 10 years. These impressive gains can be directly attributed to the professionalism and community-oriented service of our city’s police officers.
That’s why I am so proud of our Woodstock City Council for ensuring these officers are well cared for. City Council recently gave final approval to the largest single pay increase in Woodstock Police Department history, increasing the certified, starting annual salary from $44,800 to $52,590. This 17.39% single increase in starting pay is compounded on top of previous increases authorized with the new budget year that started in July, bringing the total police pay to nearly a 27% increase, year-to-date, since I was sworn in as your mayor. The City Council is investing in the men and women who keep our city safe, and we actively are competing for the very best officers in Georgia.
Woodstock isn’t alone in facing this decision, but I’m proud to say our city has met the challenge. City police departments and county sheriffs across the nation are trying to increase salaries to combat inflation and attract talent in an increasingly competitive, shrinking pool of sworn officers. But, not all cities have been quite so supportive.
Woodstock recently was named the 12th safest city in Georgia by safewise.com. In order to ensure we maintain the vibrancy and excellent quality of life our citizens deserve, safety is and must remain our top priority. The City Council’s actions in increasing our officers’ starting pay from $41,545 to $52,590 (26.58% increase) in less than eight months represents an impressive commitment to support law enforcement in our city, and is simply the right thing to do.
The Woodstock Police Department is a critical part of our city’s success. Officers protect our 36,000-plus citizens and 2,000-plus businesses, while serving our entire community through countless programs and offerings. They place their lives on the line for each of us, and investing in them always should remain a priority.
I am proud of our men and women in uniform, and the outstanding sacrifice they make each and every day to keep our families safe. I am proud of our council for investing in Woodstock’s finest. Please be sure to thank our officers when you see them around Woodstock!.
— Mayor Michael Caldwell
– Michael Caldwell is the 31st mayor of Woodstock, a retired state legislator, member of the Georgia Technology Authority, partner at Black Airplane, husband to Katie, and father to Oliver, Elizabeth and Charlotte.